Monday, March 25, 2013

Pesach in 0900 Hours


Pesach--it's coming

(True confession--I don't even know what "0900 hours" means. It's just something I say when I'm stressed out.)

The week before Pesach (aka Passover) is the time when all Jewish women grow five sets of arms and move like CRAZY to get things done, and (smart) Jewish men try to keep up and follow orders:)  It's good times, y'all.

Between going through all my food (4 boxes of Gerber puffs, anyone? Beloved sea salt granola bars from Target?), making our appliances kosher for Passover--I won't go into details on this one, but let's just say it involves a lot of tape and a torch or two--, menu planning for lots of festive meals sans wheat or rice (or beans, or legumes....but who's counting?), I'm just trying to keep my head on straight. Luckily, I remember to eat a final donut last night:)

I hope to come and post ALL about our seders and the meaning of Passover and all the cool things we do! In the meantime, though, you can fine me curled up with a pint of this:



(Just don't tell all the people who think I'm cleaning:))

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

There's an App for That!

It's been several months now since I picked up this pretty little thing, and it's safe to say I'm in love!


Over the past months, I've found a few apps that I'm head over heels in love with. I've been able to organize so much through apps, and it's made my life so much easier! Here are the ones I use and love the most!

Task Management:

This is a fancy term for TO DO LISTS. Ever since I was a wee one, I have been plagued by lists, writing them over each day by hand, getting stressed out by them, etc. So digitizing these lists has been so easy and convenient! (Realize you won't get to half your list? Press a button and move the items to another day!)

Things is my app of choice for this:

I love how it's organized the same way my head is--Today, Next, and Someday. It also lets you create "Projects" which is how i organize to do lists for holidays, birthday parties, etc.

Budgeting: 

This is one area where my phone has helped me get a handle on things SO much!


Mint is fabulous because it pulls together information from ALL of your accounts (checking, savings, credit card, amazon card, store cards, etc) and gives you a big picture of your account. It also doesn't make you enter in five bazillion passwords and security questions. Which if you know about me and my memory, is a VERY good thing:)

Envelopes is my next love. I think this is a Dave Ramsey idea, but it's the way I've been intuitively doing my budget for years. You can set an amount per week or month, and then enter in transactions. It's so quick and easy to use that although I've been entering EVERY expense for a few months, it hasn't annoyed me yet!



Meal Planning:

This is new find, but Menu Planner helps me keep track of what I'm making each day. The feature I love on this app is that it allows you to create meal templates that you can plug in.  Since every Friday night and Shabbos we have big meals that are more involved than a normal dinner, this has been SO helpful! I also love having the information with me so that if someone texts me asking if they can bring something, switch what they're making, etc. I can answer them right away!


Planner:

I'm a huge planner addict, and NEVER thought I'd go digital. But, between keeping track of personal events, things to do for baby, work commitments, and more, it got really stressful to not have my planner on me. And since I already shlep a huge bag, bringing a planner with me everywhere didn't seem to make sense.

I searched high and low for a planner app that would look like a real planner and discovered MyLife Cal.


The formal is so easy to use and "paper-like"


Keeping the Faith:

You may think I'm kidding, but there are few apps that make Jewish life easy and convenient!

It's a bit pricey at $9.99, but the Rusty Brick Siddur app (Siddur is Hebrew for prayerbook) is worth the money.

It has the text to all of the major prayers, including Ashkenazi, Sefardi and Chabad versions.


Beyond that, though, it gives you candlelighting times, a Jewish calendar, and GPS based information on prayer services nearby.

Finally, Kosher GPS is BRILLIANT--it uses GPS to determine your location and lists the kosher restaurants nearby. LOVE it!


So there you have it--a few of my favorite things apps.

Are there any apps YOU need?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Our Purim

A few weeks ago, we celebrated Purim, a Jewish holiday! You can read all about it here.

Purim is one of those holidays that would be CRAZY if more scrapbookers celebrated it. There are just so many opportunities to be creative and artistic, so I really had to reign myself in!

One of the traditions we have on Purim is to create gift baskets  (called "shalach manot") to give out to friends and family. The baskets/bags/you name it are supposed to contain food items that you say two different blessings on, but besides that, it's fair game.

This year's theme was ice cream!  I made cake ball "ice cream scoops" and put them in mini cones, then wrapped them up to place in the containers.



I found ice cream cartons on Amazon and ordered some stickers on Etsy!


A shot from my Shalach Manot prep mode--living room floor, ipad, and lots and lots of ice cream containers.


In keeping with our theme, Ellie was a baby ice cream cone!!  How cute is this?


Another shot (the top scoop pulls back like a hood--helpful for keeping babies less angry:))




And because I can't resist this face...


After going to hear the Megillah read, and walking around the neighborhood delivering Shalach Manot, a group of my high school friends came over to enjoy the festive meal with us.

Ellie's buddy was a cow!


You can see how enthused they are:)

S and I went as ice cream servers, 50s style:




And a group shot after the meal...


It was such a fun Purim! I loved our theme and tying it in to everything. Now to plan next year's.....

If YOU had to pick a Purim theme (costumes + gift baskets) what would you chose?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Day in the Life


I love doing Day in the Life posts. The daily routine doesn't always seem so interesting at the time, but I love looking back to see how it changes! While this was a slightly different schedule than usual, it definitely gives a sense of what's going on in our lives right now.

First off, if you're new here, an introduction! My name is Keshet, and I'm a 27 year old wife and mom living in New Jersey. I work semi-part time as a lawyer for a nonprofit, and the rest of the time I chase around my one year old, Ellie, scrapbook, bake and read, and try to keep up my sanity (mostly in that order). I'm also an Orthodox Jew and like to write about our traditions and holidays.  Oh, and we went through infertility for several years before having Ellie, so I write about that, too:) So here goes!

7:30--Ellie wakes up, I feed her a bottle in bed, then get dressed

8:00--Head down and check the computer (will it rain? is work canceled for some reason?)


I pray (on a good day), eat breakfast, and finish getting ready while S (the hubby) dresses Ellie and plays with her.

Here's a cameo by S:


Then, Ellie and I get all ready to go. This one was in quite the dancing mood this morning:


And here she is trying to steal my phone:)


Hugging my legs--trying to get in the refrigerator!


8:45--leave the house

9:00--drop off Ellie with her favorite teacher at school


9:15--Hit the road. Stuck behind a slow car...grrr.


9:20--Taking a self portrait on the way:)



10:00--Arrive at work. Check emails, have meetings, speak to people. I work in family law, so there is never a dull moment!

12:30--Head out to pick up lunch. So lucky to work near a ton of kosher restaurants--since I'm not from the New York area, this is a huge treat for me!

1:00--Eat lunch while chatting with co-workers, and relaxing a bit

1:30--More work. Meetings, phone calls, etc!

3:00--Leave work early today and begin the drive home

4:00--Run into the house and quickly do laundry, clean up the nursery, and get Ellie all packed up for our weekend trip to a friend's in Baltimore

There's something I love about tidying the nursery! (Although it rarely happens because Ellie is either getting into things or sleeping!)


4:15--Sigh as I pack away this tiny swimsuit from last summer:)


4:50--Leave the house. Gas light is on. BLAST!


5:00--Pop into a coffee shop right next to Ellie's school for a 10 minute latte and book--re-reading this awesome marriage book right now


5:20--Pick up Ellie

5:30--Home to read books and play!

6:30--Dinner time for the little love


6:35--While Ellie eats, leave post-its all over the house. I have a post-it issue.


6:55--Change into jammies, read bedtime book

7:15--Bottle time

7:45--8:00--Bedtime for baby Ellie

8:00--Clean up from the day, go through mail, etc

8:20--Dinner time (if S is home, eat together at the kitchen table. If S is not home, make something easy/leftovers and catch up on reality TV--S works at a fancy shmancy law firm, so he works late sometimes)

8:50--Clean up from dinner

9:00--Open my to do list for the day. Frantically try to prioritize (I am SO bad at this. I probably should be something besides this blog post now. Oy:)).  

To dos include but are not limited to--inviting guests for Shabbos, menu planning for Shabbos, cooking for Shabbos (can you sense a theme? Ha! So worth it though), going through emails, writing thank you notes (eternally behind), Project Life catchup, phone calls, etc. Phew. 

10:00--Wrap up my to dos. Go upstairs to scrapbook or work on Project Life

10:20--Watch a relaxing TV show with S. Often House Hunters:) 

10:45--Start getting ready for bed

11:30--Bed!

And there you get--life as it is right now!  Linking up here.  I don't work Fridays, so my workweek is short, but it gets busy!

Have YOU ever documented a day in your life?